Silwood Video Archive Project Update

Participatory Archive Video Project exploring the regeneration of Silwood Estate, Lewisham

Summary 

In March we have wrapped up the final stages of our Digitally Democratising Archives project, funded by the National Lottery and The Audience Agency. 

The aim of the project was to open the Silwood archive, for the first time since filming began, and to invite the Silwood community to watch, comment on, and hopefully begin a participatory editing process which will draw out the story(ies) of Silwood.

Our project has gone largely as planned. All the aspects of workshops that we envisioned have happened. Participants have enjoyed watching and discussing the archive. Rather than stopping after 6 workshops we decided to maximise momentum by running a workshop every week for the duration of the project.

Online archive based participatory video workshops

Outcomes

Exploring the Archive

From the Silwood Archive – Residents shooting on Silwood Estate during a workshop with Spectacle

As part of this project we digitised and uploaded 392 clips from the Silwood archive. These clips covered a variety of themes including: the destruction of the estate, location shots of buildings which no longer exist, planning meetings which showcased spaces and buildings which were never built, promises made and not fulfilled, the desire for a youth centre and community centre, fly tipping, poems, and interviews with former residents. 

Archive based participatory video, missing sculpture on Silwood Estate in Lewisham and Southwark

As part of the project Spectacle published a short edited video on the theme of the missing statue Neighbourly Encounters. This statue was made by the artist Uli Nimptsch and specially commissioned for the estate.This short film brings together interviews of the model for the statue, bringing a historian on to the estate to discuss the missing statue, and the community’s memories of the statue itself. It continues to be unclear when and why the statue was removed, and where it is now. 

Community Engagement 

This project had three levels of potential engagement. The most shallow level was through likes, views, clicks, engagement on social media, or blog posts. We regularly shared public updates about the project, and occasionally posted public edited clips or videos from the archive. At this level Spectacle’s posts on Facebook about the DDA project reached 1660 individuals and had a total of 456 engagements. This is an average of 138 reached, and 38 engagements per post. Public videos received a total of 427 views on Youtube. 

Youtube playlist of videos concerning Lewisham and Southwark Silwood Estate residents

The second level of engagement was through subscription. Each blog post offered the opportunity to subscribe to a mailing list to access the archive. 26 unique participants subscribed and were given access to the 392 never before seen clips from the Silwood Archive that were uploaded during the project. Between them these 26 participants generated 1,354 views of private vimeo videos from the Silwood archive. 

The third and deepest level of engagement was through participation in workshops to view, discuss, and make selections from the archive. A total of 10 participants participated in 17 workshops over the course of 4 months. 

A view of a visit to the Silwood Video Archive page

We received very positive feedback from participants. Participants remarked that they felt this archive was “vital to the history of their community.” There was great enthusiasm to share the archive with new or younger community members who would not be aware of the history of the estate. 

Spectacle Skills 

This project has been a useful opportunity to test and develop our cataloguing, digitising workflows and our archive-based participatory workshop model. 

We developed our archive-based participatory model to run online archive-based workshops using a variety of platforms, and found ways to teach participants to use these platforms effectively. Through this process we have developed our workflows and explored the best use of accessible digital tools. 

Through this process we have developed workflows to transfer archive footage from tape and other legacy formats (MiniDV, DVCam, DVDs) to digital, to be uploaded to online platforms. 

Image from the archive – residents edit footage shot in participatory video workshops

We have developed practices for platform sharing of video archives. We have learned how to organise clips so that the archive is easier to share with participants, and explored how to balance file-naming systems for archiving versus user-friendly labelling. 

Expanding the Archive 

Spectacle visited the Silwood estate on Monday the 29th of December and filmed locations and activities including ongoing construction, fly-tipping, the location where the youth club bus arrives, the new community garden, and general location shots around the streets of the estate. 

Adding to the archive – going back to shoot location views with Silwood Estate residents

This footage will be added to the archive as part of the ongoing documentation of the Silwood estate for the past 20 years during the regeneration of the area. 

Plans to Continue the Programme 

We plan to continue working with the Silwood community on the archive. We have been involved with the Silwood community for over 20 years, and that relationship is one we are eager to continue. 

A view of the Shard from Silwood Estate

Further, this experience has given us confidence to push forward and expand the model. We are eager to use this archive-based participatory model to explore some of our other archives, and the skills gained in this project are easily transferable. We are keen to continue running archive-based participatory workshops with various communities drawing on our numerous other video archives.

The Silwood Archive project is supported by The Audience Agency’s Digitally Democratising Archives project thanks to funding from DCMS and the National Lottery, as part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s, Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.


New In-person Workshops!

We are pleased to announce a new in-person 2-Day Video Production workshop. Designed as a stand alone intensive hands-on training course, it is also an option to replace sessions 1-4 of our existing programme of online video training courses.

Participatory Video Workshop

It has been great spending the last 2 intense years developing remote online workshops, training courses and Participatory Video projects, sharing our expertise in video making and collaborative work with dozens of passionate anthropologists, researchers, journalists, academics and aspiring filmmakers from all over the world.

Online courses

We learned a lot and developed a very effective online training programme including 7 courses, all structured in a sequence of modular live 3-hour zoom sessions scheduled to work across a variety of time zones (15:00-18:30 London time, including breaks). Our online programme will continue, allowing people living on most of the planet to attend our courses. We are also excited to meet in person with our trainees, as we have been used to do for over 10 years, offering again the option to share video tools in a practical face-to-face learning experience.

The new 2-Day Video Production Workshop

The in-person 2-Day Video Production Workshop is an intensive course covering in two days all the content of the first 4 sessions of our online courses. Participants will learn how to use various types of cameras and professional sound equipment, how to film high quality video interviews and collect engaging visual stories and impactful video documentation.

The workshop will run at our London Studio in Battersea (SW11), giving participants the opportunity to learn using a range of professional and semi-professional film equipment – DSLRs, camcorders, grip equipment, professional sound recorders and microphones – during the practical shooting exercises. The In-person Video Production Workshop is also a perfect opportunity for those who attended our online programmes to refresh their skills in a fun, practical and intensive 2-day stand alone course.

In person Workshop

Integrated with our online Video Training programme

The in-person workshops integrate flawlessly with all the online courses we already have. All our courses will be scheduled so that participants can choose their favourite mode of attendance: entirely online or a mix of in-person and online. Participants can learn the camera techniques face-to-face in our 2-day Video Production workshop (replacing the first 4 online sessions at no cost) and then attend all the specialist webinars and the video editing part (online sessions 5-8) remotely. If travelling to our studio is not practical, you can still attend the whole course entirely online.

In order to give every participant a real hands-on experience and plenty of time for shooting exercises, our in-person 2-Day Video Production workshops will have a limited number of attendees.

Book now in order to guarantee your place.

Video training for anthropology and social research

Visit our courses pages to explore their content and choose the one that suits you best. All courses below can be attended in combination with our new in-person 2-day Video Production workshop:

Participatory Video Workshop

Video Production for Anthropologists & Social Researchers 

Filmmaking 

Video Marketing 

Video Production 

The following courses can only be attended online:

Smartphone Video

Video Editing

Check the dates for our courses on our Calendar page.

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Spectacle Training: Final Cut Pro Weekend Training Course- March

Final Cut Pro Weekend Training Course

Saturday & Sunday March 24 & 25 2012 10.00 to 16.00

This is a practical hands-on evening course aimed at people who want a fast way to acquire detailed and concise editing skills. It is particularly useful for aspiring documentary makers, journalists who want to expand their skill set and voluntary sector workers who want to edit their own films.

The short, condensed and effective course will give all participants a solid foundation of practical knowledge and a working understanding of editing software, from importing, marking, logging and editing, to adding soundtracks and effects.

We allow one person per computer, giving everyone extensive hands-on experience.

Completing this course will guarantee you a work placement opportunity with Spectacle.

What you will learn:

– Overview of Final Cut Pro
– Editing basics, cutting, moving and arranging clips
– Transitions and effects
– Use of logging, key words and database to organise your edit
– Creating titles
– Using sound
– Importing and exporting media
– Uploading on-line, basic intro to codecs and formats

Price

£200.00 + VAT = £240
Concs.: £100.00 + VAT = £120

Special discounts

– Bookings for three to five people: 10% discount
– Bookings for six people or more: 20% discount

Click to find out more and to book.